09/17/2016 10:46AM

Jockeys Court, Rocco sidelined after spills

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Tom Keyser
Jockey Jon Court

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A pair of veteran jockeys, Jon Court and Joe Rocco Jr., will be sidelined for varying lengths of time after being injured in separate spills Friday at Churchill Downs.

Court was the more seriously injured of the two, suffering three fractured vertebrae and two fractured ribs in a spill in the 10th and final race on the opening card of the 11-day September meet. His agent, Steve Krajcir, said Court has movement in all extremities and was resting comfortably Saturday morning at University Hospital in downtown Louisville, where he was expected to be seen by a specialist later in the day.

“There’s no way to know right now when he might be able to come back from this,” said Krajcir.

Rocco fractured his wrist and could be sidelined for four to six weeks, depending on a closer diagnosis to be made Tuesday, according to agent Jay Fedor.

Court, 55, was injured when his mount, Red Blue and True, clipped heels nearing the five-furlong pole when in tight quarters. “He went down just like that,” said Brian Hernandez Jr., who witnessed the incident right alongside aboard Hard Labor.

Rocco, 34, fell when his mount in the eighth race, Raagheb, clipped heels in midstretch behind the eventual winner, Toasting Master.

Stewards’ inquiries into both races resulted in no change in the order of finish. No horses or other riders were reported with serious injuries.

Court is just a few wins shy of hitting the 4,000-win mark in a career dating to 1980. Rocco has won more than 1,300 races since he began riding in 1999.